HARRY Potter and JK Rowling have done me a huge favour, says author Sue Limb who pens children's books from a cottage in Nailworth and lives in an ancient farmhouse in Ozleworth and is published by Rowling's publisher Bloomsbury.

"JK Rowling has completely transformed the children's book industry. Fifteen years ago when I was writing children's fiction, the genre was looked down upon as a lower form of writing," says Sue. "The market is huge now and many adults read children's books too. I am so grateful to her, what she has done is quite magical. She has transformed my career. Many writers are jealous of her success, but not I."

Sue is currently juggling several series of books - Zoe and Chloe stories about a ten-year-old - Ruby Rogers for younger children and Girl 15 about the agonies of being a teenager.

She writes a chapter a day early in the mornings, about 1500 words. Then she reverts to being a farmer's wife.

Finding the way to Sue's front door is an adventure in itself. The National Trust owned farmhouse clings to the hillside above the stunningly beautiful and peaceful Ozleworth Valley and below the limestone cliff and Newark Park mansion. A heavily muddy path zigzags down to her yard where you remove your wellies.

Inside the traditional farmhouse kitchen Sue takes time out from her writing to grade organic eggs. She loves poultry and growing vegetables.

This reminds me of her successful television sitcom Up the Garden Path, which starred Imelda Staunton and ran to 18 episodes in the early nineties. It told the story of Izzy who gets involved with inappropriate men and follows Sue's comic novel of the same name.

Then there was the Dulcie Domun column, which was published in the Guardian for 11 years and was read on Radio 4 - another comic slant on a woman's life.

Her books range from early children's books, to comic adult novels to the historical novel, Enchantment based on Newark Park in the 18th century and back to children's fiction again - she is currently producing three books a year.

Many of her books explore family dynamics, the agony of relationships and the comedy of social situations. All involve deadpan humour and the adventure of living life.

"I often draw inspiration from Jane Austen," says Sue. "She was writing chicklit in the 1800s - all about social convention, parents and aunts,romance and tragedy. The family stuff features hugely in my children's books. For example Ruby Rogers has a teasing older brother, a teacher father with no sense of direction and a midwife mother who is always falling asleep. This age group is sophisticated and want a book that takes the mickey, want liberty from their parents, just like in Austen's time and like a laugh.

"We are preoccupied with the same worries. When you are young you worry about getting a spot and as you get older this changes to worry over each extra wrinkle."

But how does she remember what it was like being a teenager and how does she relate this?

"I can remember what I was like - a tomboy - and how I felt. My daughter Betsy, now 22, enjoys proofreading for me and she edits too. It was strange that after my television series my work dried up for a year when the BBC was not taking anything. Then my agent suggested I write a book on spec and the children's book was reborn."

Sue, a former English teacher, is interested in visiting primary schools after Easter to meet pupils and give talks.

She can be contacted at www.suelimb.com